Apr 19 2011

SPW ‘Top 30 – Viewers Choice Award’

Daniel Linnet

As the first batch of 2011 Digital SLR Photography students eagerly await their Top 30 results we have a little bit of exciting news to announce.

The Top 30 will now have a ‘Viewers Choice Award’ for the most popular image as selected by you, our supporters and photography enthusiasts.

The process is simple, just after Easter once the first Top 30 for 2011 is announced, we will create a gallery where you will be able to browse through the final  images and vote for your favourites. The image that gets the most votes within a set period of a month will receive the great prize courtesy of Lexar Media.

“To show Lexar Media’s continued support of the Australian photography industry, it is proud to support the SPW Top 30 Viewer’s Choice Award. Lexar media will be offering the talented winner of this award a professional photographer’s memory accessory prize pack, valued at $470.00″

The pack includes;

1x Professional Dual Slot Reader

2x 16GB 600x CF Cards

1x 16GB JumpDrive S70

We’re sure you’ll agree that it’s indeed a very worthy prize. A huge thank you to Lexar Media for their kind support. Make sure to check out Lexar’s Digital Photography page for some great workflow tips and lessons.

Meanwhile, do yourself a favour and check out the amazing selection of Top 30 images from 2010.

2010 “Top 30″ Galleries
2010 Intake 1 - The Top 30

2010 Intake 1

2010 Intake 2 - The Top 30

2010 Intake 2

2010 Intake 3 - The Top 30

2010 Intake 3

2010 Intake 4 - The Top 30

2010 Intake 4

2010 Intake 5 - The Top 30

2010 Intake 5

Also, don’t forget to check us out on Facebook. Make sure to ‘like’ our fan page to receive all the latest updates and inspirational tid-bits.

Sydney Photographic Workshops Fan Page

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Feb 1 2011

The Location Photographers New Best Friend – Ephemeris

Daniel Linnet

As I initially came across this iPad app and without knowing what an Ephemoris was, I assumed it would be just another exposure calculator “photo buddy” app for which I’ve yet to discover a practical use in my day to day photographic activities. For some strange reason however, I felt compelled to check it out. Perhaps it was the rather cool, old school icon that drew me in.

What I discovered however, was exactly what I have been desperately yearning for, to assist with location scouting and shoot planning. This baby is going to save me hours in returning to locations checking sun (and also moon) rise and set positions.

This is probably the best $12 I’ve spent on the iPad for my photography. If you don’t own an iPad then it is also available for the iPhone and as a free Mac or PC desktop app.


By the way, here is the dictionary definition.

ephemeris |iˈfem(ə)ris|noun ( pl. -erides |-ərədēz|) Astronomy & Astrologya table or data file giving the calculated positions of a celestial object at regular intervals throughout a period.• a book or set of such tables or files.ORIGIN early 16th cent.: from Latin, from Greekephēmeros ‘lasting only a day.’

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Aug 23 2010

The Latest Student TOP 30 – a glimpse into our selection process

Daniel Linnet

Approximately every 8 weeks on the final night of our beginners Digital SLR Workshop, 60+ graduates swallow hard and with a USB key in hand accompanied by a pre prepared disclaimer, allow us to download the fruits of their 8 week technical and creative toil, for all to see on the big screen.

Although scary at first, time and time again the final night presentations prove to be an incredibly rewarding and inspiring experience for all involved, with the quality and diversity of the work never failing to impress. This time was no different, from 1275 images we edited down to 30.

Selecting so few from so many is not an easy task and is definitely not something we take lightly, so just to give you an idea of how the process works here is a quick rundown.

Once the final night presentations are all done and dusted, the resulting images are compiled into a single Lightroom catalogue where any references to the image creator are removed as we put Lightroom in “lights-out” mode ready for the first edit.

With nothing on the screen but the image we run through each one, judging on initial impact, creative content and idea plus overall presentation. Those receiving a single star survive to the next round, where the judging really heats up.

In the second round usually with 300-400 images to look at we start comparing based on set criteria borrowed from the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA’s). You might think it as a bit of an overkill but when faced with that many images to compare, one definitely needs some set guidelines to go by.  As we view, review, compare and argue we normally manage to issue 50-60 two star ratings.

The third and final round starts with an elimination by legibility, where we set up a Lightroom view showing us the capture date in the metadata for each of the images,  and eliminate all those created prior to the commencement of the workshop. From there we continue to compare and discuss, usually by similar subject matter, eliminating individual images until there are just the 30 left.

Overall the images are selected based on the following criteria; impact, creativity, subject matter, composition, centre of interest, file quality, lighting, colour balance, story telling, style, and technique. I believe that keeping these in mind when you are out and about creating your images and practicing your photography is a sure fire way to improve.

Congratulations to all those who made the final cut!!!

See the latest Top 30 HERE


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